At this point, here at Record Weekly, there’s just no stopping us going to gigs. So, you want to know who it is this time? We’d better get a conversation going about The Chats…
Garage hard rock and punk are two genres relatively lost within the cycle of mainstream music. They were popular in the alternative scenes of the ’60s and ’70s but they’ve only recently picked back up. The Chats bridge that bracket perfectly. And at Leeds’ Stylus, they put on a movie-marathon-style show that delivered us some killer supports before they even emerged.
I walked into the venue and you could almost already hear the buzz from the crowd, who obviously knew it was going to be a party from the start. Dennis Cometti were the first support and their newest, self-titled album and headline track, ‘WAXIT’, was met with great praise. I see them as yet another band that will break into this crack within the industry and revive the gritty sunset tone all The Chats’ fans adore. The energy, the enjoyment, the fresh feeling of being surrounded by people just like yourself… it was like nothing before.
Chubby and the Gang were second up to the stage. You only ever get three songs in the photo pit at gigs like these, however, that wasn’t enough to stop me from taking all sorts of pictures around the venue of this group. I just wanted to capture the incessant nature the outfit shared and the tough-skin performance they brought us.
I spoke to security in the pit and was informed that this one could get “crazy” and, if need be, I’d have to exit the area if diehard fans came toppling over. A scary thought but quite the anticipation boost, as I knew I’d be surrounded by gig frenzies, all on a night of a lifetime.
Composed on the coast of sunny Australia, The Chats are high-energy, bass-shredding rockers whose blast opens a hole in the alternative mix through a new and exciting way of producing tunes. The current band consists of bassist and vocalist Eamon Sandwith, guitarist Josh Hardy and heavy drummer Matt Boggis. All three from down under. They’re known for releasing music relating to struggles associated with Australian culture and they channel these into a completely beguiling style of music.
The Chats are circulating the UK currently on a tour that’s crafting elements of madness. They’ve sold out most shows so far and will conclude the stop-offs with two Electric Brixton shows in London.
Pinning the limelight on their audience and joining in with the ongoing scenes around them, you sort of felt as if The Chats were aspirers of their genre. Not one person in the venue wasn’t head-banging, and you couldn’t hear a thing over the classic ripping guitar they’re revered for. That sound is something you must experience.
They played most of their hit tracks, including ‘Smoko’, ‘Bus Money’ and ‘Pub Feed’, as well as some nostalgic tracks for long-serving fans. What lit up my night was their freshest offering, ‘Struck By Lighting’. This song ushers you to a different level live. The brute force and dedication is clear in the bass, the vocals and the drums. Mind-blowing. Like I’d been punched in the face. But a lyrical blessing of a punch.
Atypical to all other indie acts, The Chats are essential to listen to if you’ve overdone your playlists. But the moral of the story? They’re a completely different breed of alternative music and they just hosted one of the best gig atmospheres I’ve seen. All positives from me.
Guest gig review contributed by Daniel Caddick